Oregon Math Educator Update - September 2020

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Oregon Math Update - September 2020

Man on hillside photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

We hope this update finds you well.   This coming school year looks to be unlike any we have ever seen before, but we know that Oregon math educators are amazing and up to the challenge.   We certainly appreciate your hard work and service to our students, communities, and state. 

Be sure to take a moment and reflect on the incredible work you have done and will continue to do this coming year.  We all will be stretched to sharpen our academic and instructional skills this year while we work to keep students and staff safe.   Take time to reach out to each other and share what you may be doing so we can all learn from each other.  

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the ODE Math Education Team - Mark Freed, Andy Byerley, or Tom Thompson - if you have any questions or concerns about math education in our state.

Commitment to an Anti-racist Position in Mathematics

TODOS four key areas image

The current health pandemic has brought a number of equity considerations to the forefront as we adapt our learning models to keep our students and educators safe and still meet the educational needs of our community.  Issues  include access to online learning, challenges to teaching multilingual and EL students, and adapting mathematics instruction within a comprehensive distance learning model.   The current health crisis has also brought to light systemic racism that existed previously.  

The Oregon Department of Education is committed to the ODE Equity Lens in all our work and prioritize anti-racist mathematics education for all our students.   A recent TODOS publication, The Mo(ve)ment to Priortize Anti-racist Mathematics: Planning for this year and Every School Year, articulates this commitment as: 

“An antiracist position in mathematics education is a pledge to dismantle systems and structures that maintain racism within teaching and learning mathematics from challenging belief systems that perpetuate microaggressions to disrupting the role mathematics classes play in pushing students out of schooling.” (TODOS, 2020, p.2)

As we begin this school year, we encourage all educators attend to these principles as we prepare for mathematics teaching. During this school year, look for more resources from TODOS around four key areas: 

  • Prioritizing meeting the social and emotional needs of students in mathematics classrooms in light of the historical moment they are living through
  • Carefully considering when and how to assess mathematical knowledge in ways that account for social and emotional needs of students
  • Radically restructuring the parent-school relationship to position parents as central to student learning when schools are closed as well as when they re-open
  • Accessing, evaluating, and designing technology for distance and hybrid learning that accounts for differences in internet access across communities.

ODE 2020-21 School Year Guidance

Back to School Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

In response to the changes that COVID-19 has caused in our workplaces, lives, and schools, ODE has published the Ready Schools, Safe Learners back-to-school guidance for the 2020-21 school year. In conjunction, ODE has also released its Comprehensive Distance Learning Guidance to support schools to provide high quality instruction, acknowledging the challenges that we collectively face. This guidance has been updated throughout the summer in response to the changing context of COVID-19 and the directives from the Governor’s office.

Designing Learning for 2020-21

The Oregon Department of Education has created subject specific instructional resources to support Designing Learning for the 2020-21 school year.  Each document addresses essential instructional content to help determine where to focus learning activities this school year. From there, considerations and resources are provided for navigating and managing instructional resources, practices, and assessment across delivery models.  Content area guidance is provided as a stand-alone document for each content area as well as one focused on formative assessment practices.  If you have any questions, please reach out to the ODE Math Team.


Updated ODE Math Standards Page

Gray Stairs Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

In response to the COVID-related school closures, ODE has worked to develop instructional resources to support educators as they prepare for back to school. Below are highlights of the resources you’ll now find populated under the “Designing Learning for Math in 2020-21” expandable menu on the Mathematics Standards webpage

Math resources published from ODE include:

  • Mathematics: Preparing for 2020-2021 Overview
  • High School Core Mathematics Guidance
  • Oregon Open Learning

Additional resources can be found from: 

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • Student Achievement Partners (SAP)
  • TNTP
  • The Council of the Great City Schools

2020-21 Oregon Statewide Assessment System Updates

Interim Assessments for All!

The Oregon Department of Education will be providing statewide access to the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment System during the 2020 – 2021 instructional year to support both educators and students. The interim assessment system will be available for online access starting Tuesday, September 15, 2020, and includes a suite of both English Language Arts and Mathematics interim assessments. The Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments are aligned to claims, assessment targets, and standards, and can be administered remotely. For more information on interim assessment uses please refer to the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Overview.

“Tools for Teachers” Instructional Supports

In addition to statewide access to the interim assessment system, educators will have access to Tools for Teachers (formerly the Digital Library). This completely redesigned platform provides instructional resources linked to the interim assessment system. Each resource has been developed and reviewed by teams of educators, and formative assessment practices are embedded throughout. Tools for Teachers is currently available to all Oregon educators and can be accessed via the OSAS Portal by selecting the Interim Assessment icon or visiting the Smarter Tools for Teachers website. Educators will log in using their test administrator usernames and passwords. For more information on features and resources, please refer to the Smarter Balanced Tools for Teachers Overview.

Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment logo

Professional Learning Series

To support the Interim Assessment System and Tools for Teachers, the ODE Assessment Team is pleased to present our Fall Interim Assessment professional learning series. Six one-hour sessions will be repeated several times throughout the fall. Find a schedule of sessions and links to register here. Sign up as a Professional Learning Team! You will be able to access recorded sessions and other resources on ODE’s Interim Assessments page.

Please contact Andy Byerley, Math Assessment Specialist, for more information or with any questions.

Oregon Open Learning is Live on OER Commons

Oregon Open Learning Logo

The Oregon Department of Education is excited to launch the Oregon Open Learning Hub! This is a digital resource repository and collaboration space for educators, administrators, and other educational partners to curate, create, and remix open educational resources (OER). 

Here’s an FAQ where you can find answers to frequently asked questions about OER and Oregon Open Learning Hub.

When you’re finished getting your questions answered, we’d encourage you to take a look at other hubs on the OER Commons site. Then, you can add to the discussion thread in our Professional Learning Group: What do you see on other hubs that we may want to consider in Oregon?

For information about OER and Oregon Open Learning, please review these recorded sessions: 

Here are some new resources in the Oregon Mathematics Group:

Sign up to receive Oregon Open Learning Newsletters.

#MaskUpOR Campaign

beaver with mask

COVID-19 continues to spread throughout both rural and urban parts of Oregon. Doctors and public health experts have made it clear that we can reduce the spread of the disease by wearing face coverings while out and about in public.

To be able to protect the health and safety of Oregonians, we need to raise awareness about the importance of wearing face coverings – and we need to do it now. Governor Kate Brown’s office has created a toolkit of nearly 70 social media graphics (click here to access them). There are a wide range of images, themes, and tones, so feel free to use what makes sense for you, your community, and your audience.

Please share these widely with your personal and professional networks this week.  Thanks for doing your part in fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.

For the most up-to-date information concerning COVID-19 responses, please see our FAQs page.  Additionally, the ODE COVID-19 webpage contains the most recent information available on how the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is impacting schools in Oregon. If you have an urgent health need, please contact your local health department or health care provider.